India, Mauritius confident of resolving differences on DTAA
Port Louis: India and Mauritius on Tuesday expressed confidence over resolving their differences on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) when the two sides meet in New Delhi next month.
The two sides expressed confidence on resolving the issue after a meeting between visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam here.
"We spoke about the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. We have already found some common ground to find a solution. This is going to come to an end in April," Ramgoolam said in the presence of President Mukherjee after attending a ceremony where several pacts on health, medicine, tourism were signed.
Mukherjee said India looks forward to the meeting of the Joint Working Group to be held in April in New Delhi.
"I am pleased to note that the Joint Working Group on the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) has met twice in the last one year. They have provided an opportunity for both sides to discuss all issues with the aim of finding a mutually acceptable and beneficial outcome," Mukherjee said.
"India looks forward to holding the next meeting of the JWG soon in New Delhi. We also look forward to the holding of the 11th India-Mauritius Joint Commission meeting," he said.
The India-Mauritius Joint Working Group met in December, 2011, and again in August, 2012, to discuss concerns on the operation of the India-Mauritius DTAC.
Mauritius had also agreed with India on a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), which incorporates provisions on assistance in the collection of taxes.
Earlier, India's High Commissioner to Mauritius T P Seetharam said people in this country get offended when it is called a "tax haven".
"The stock market's reaction to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's budget speech and the reaction of the investors has nothing to do with Mauritius. Instead, the locals feel offended if Mauritius has been termed as a tax haven," he said.
On the day of the Union Budget on February 28, Indian stocks had fallen sharply after Chidambaram said that Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) is "a necessary but not sufficient condition" to avail the benefits under double taxation avoidance agreements.
Mauritius is one of the major countries that issues TRC for foreign investors looking to invest in India with tax benefits arising from Indo-Mauritian tax treaty.
Ramgoolam said Mauritius has now been able to manage its economy properly and the country was always grateful to India for its help in this regard.
The Prime Minister said New Delhi has helped Port Louis in conducting a hydrological survey free of cost in seas surrounding the island nation.
"India has great experience of blue ocean economy and it is helping us," he said.
Ramgoolam said Mukherjee's presence, as Chief Guest at the national day celebration of Mauritius today, was a testimony of excellent bonds that the two countries enjoy.
Earlier, Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N Singh and Mauritius Foreign Minister Arvin Boolell signed three agreements in the fields of cooperation on health and medicine, cooperation on tourism and on persons with disabilities and senior citizens.